Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a little less on the radar of tourists than cities like Barcelona or Amsterdam, but I always consider that a blessing. I checked out Lisbon in March this year, and while the main attractions were certainly busy, they were nothing compared to those in Paris where I had been a few days before (want to read more about that trip? Check out my post about the best views in Paris). It’s so warm in Portugal that the tourist off-season (November – April) is always a good time to head to Lisbon. Here is the Best of Lisbon that I think is worth a stop while you’re there!
Best of Lisbon – Sintra
Sintra isn’t technically in Lisbon, but it’s definitely the best day trip that Lisbon has to offer. Sintra has 2 castles in the mountains, the Moorish castle and the Pena Palace – make sure you go to both! A lot of the lazier tourists take the bus up to the palaces, but I hiked with a 63-year-old family member, so it’s doable (if he can do it, you can/should too) and also free and better for the environment!
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Best of Lisbon – Castelo São Jorge
Castelo Sao Jorge is pretty architecturally similar to the Moorish castle at Sintra, but it’s worth it regardless for the views over Lisbon. There are also peacocks (if you have nothing better to do, follow one around for awhile and wait for it to open its feathers) and plenty of places to buy wine to enjoy your view.
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Best of Lisbon – The Miradouros
If you’re looking for more views than the one at the Castelo, go to one of the Miradouros, which literally means viewpoint. In case you haven’t noticed from your burning calves while walking around the city, Lisbon is known for its many hills, which provide some great views. The best part is that they’re completely free. Read more on my best viewpoints in Lisbon post!
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Best of Lisbon – Rua Augusta Arch
The Rua Augusta Arch is one of the most recognized sites in Lisbon, and it’s easy to see why. You can walk around the arch and the surrounding plaza for free, or pay to go to the top for a better view. I recommend heading here in the evening, as there are a variety of restaurants and the sunset over the river and the Christ statue is just breathtaking.
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Best of Lisbon – Pantheon
There are a few good things to see at the Pantheon besides the neoclassical architecture. You can take the stairs up to the dome and get a great view of the city and the water. Also, around the corner from the Pantheon is Lisbon’s largest street mural, which is travel themed.
Best of Lisbon – Belem Tower
The Belem tower is a UNESCO world heritage site and used to be a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Nearby (2 mins walking) are the Jeronimos monastery and the monument to the discoveries, both of which are cultural icons of Lisbon.
Did I miss any of your favourite sites in Lisbon? Contact me through my blog Weave Through the World and let me know. Make sure to check out and share some of my other posts while you’re there!
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About the Traveler
Kate Weaver busted out her passport for the first time when she was 8 months old and has been travelling ever since! After going to more than 20 countries and 5 continents (if you have any advice for her on going to Antarctica, she’d love to have it), she has plenty of stories to tell and pictures to show!
Her blog, Weave Through the World, has a significant focus on her favourite country: France. Previously, Kate was aggressively anti-exercise, but has recently taken to hiking in the Alps and in her home state of Kentucky, and she hopes you’ll follow her as she takes to the mountains and weaves through the world!